The Mark on the Wall

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The Mark on the Wall is the first published story by Virginia Woolf.[1] It was published in 1917 as part of the first collection of short stories written by Virginia Woolf and her husband, Leonard Woolf, called Two Stories.[2] It was later published in New York in 1921 as part of another collection entitled Monday or Tuesday.


The Mark on the Wall is written in the first person, as a "stream of consciousness" monologue.[3] The narrator notices a mark on the wall, and muses on the workings of the mind.[4] Themes of religion, self-reflection,[5] nature, and uncertainty are explored. The narrator reminisces about the development of thought patterns, beginning in childhood.[6]


Woolf's style in The Mark on the Wall has been frequently analyzed by literary writers and the story is used as an example of introspective writing.[3][4][6]


The Mark on the Wall has been included in a number of anthologies.

  • Woolf, Virginia. "A Mark on the Wall." The Norton Anthology of English Literature.Vol. F. Ed. 8th ed. Ed.Stephen Jahan Ramazani; Greenblatt; M. H. Abrahms; Jon Stallworthy. New York: W. W. Norton, 2005.

Woolf, Virginia. "A Mark on the Wall." Haunted House and other stories. Hogarth Press, London, 1944.[5]

  • Woolf, Virginia. (28 March 2014). Monday or Tuesday: Eight Stories. Start Classics. pp. 39–. ISBN 978-1-60977-494-3.
  • Woolf, Virginia. "The Mark on the Wall." The Wordsworth Collection of Classic Short Stories. Wordsworth editions, 2007. pp.1334-.


  1. ^ Douglas Mao; Rebecca L. Walkowitz (1 July 2010). Bad Modernisms. Duke University Press. pp. 124–. ISBN 0-8223-8782-4.
  2. ^ Jane Goldman (14 September 2006). The Cambridge Introduction to Virginia Woolf. Cambridge University Press. pp. 88–. ISBN 978-1-139-45788-0.
  3. ^ a b Ralph Freedman (January 1980). Virginia Woolf: Revaluation and Continuity, a Collection of Essays. University of California Press. pp. 53–. ISBN 978-0-520-03980-3.
  4. ^ a b Susan Sellers (18 February 2010). The Cambridge Companion to Virginia Woolf. Cambridge University Press. pp. 42–. ISBN 978-0-521-89694-8.
  5. ^ a b Dave Welsh (2010). Underground Writing: The London Tube from George Gissing to Virginia Woolf. Liverpool University Press. pp. 180–. ISBN 978-1-84631-223-6.
  6. ^ a b Jennifer Margaret Fraser (1 January 2011). Be a Good Soldier: Children's Grief in English Modernist Novels. University of Toronto Press. pp. 157–. ISBN 978-1-4426-4313-0.

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